Merry Christmas!

Well that’s it. I have finished all my gigs before Christmas!

It’s been pretty frantic over the past few months. Five Ceremony of Carols, a week of concerts with my harp quartet CLOUDS, and several other background and orchestral gigs too. I have two more engagements in 2013 – a funeral on December 30th and a New Year’s Eve Gala in Buxton.

My last gig was in Bradford Cathedral doing Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, which was being conducted by the lovely Alex Woodrow – an old school friend of mine from St. Peter’s in York. I was looked after exceptionally well. Convenient parking, coffee on arrival, a leisurely rehearsal schedule, a successful performance and pub&curry afterwards! Met some lovely people and generally had a great day. Good gig!

Just thinking back to this time last year, I had such a quiet Christmas it was unbelievable, I cried numerous times over having no work and worried constantly about the lack of money coming in. Compared with this year the difference is like night and day. I know that, even though January is quiet I won’t be living off couscous and frozen vegetables. Hurray!

2013 has definitely been a learning year. The first half was dominated by my job in Long Tall Sally, the second half dominated by lots and lots of work. In amongst all that there’s the constant uphill struggle of trying to ‘sort my life out’ – which is often on my to-do list. Is any musician’s life truly sorted at this stage? Looking back, some decisions I’ve made this year have been for the best and some have been downright silly. But all we can do is learn from the mistakes and do better next time. I’m so lucky that I have such a supportive family… and someone special in my life who I can talk to and lean on (gently) when things feel difficult.

So I’d like to wish all those who read these posts of mine a very Merry Christmas. I hope those of you who need to travel are able to do so safely despite the stormy weather, and let peace, goodwill and festive cheer be with us all. Somebody pass the mulled wine…

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